The decision to have an unplugged ceremony is a personal one for both the Bride & Groom. It’s one that has its pros & cons but in my opinion, the good definitely outweighs the bad. Read on to check out 5 reasons you should consider asking your guests to unplug during your Wedding Ceremony.
Imagine your fiance looking at you walking down the aisle but becoming distracted by a guest who drops their camera they brought to take pictures. Not the moment you dreamed of right? Can you hear the noise of guests going in and out of the walk way, scooting past other guests to take photos during your vow exchange? Total buzz kill right? Unplugged ceremonies will limit the unnecessary noise for your sacred moment as well as prevent disruptions for other guests in attendance whose attention will surely turn instead of being completely focused on the service.
You’ve spent your hard earned money on an experience with a photographer that concludes with the receipt of beautiful images. What happens when your beautiful images include bad lighting due to camera flashes, guests obstructing the view of you and your new Husband exchanging rings or sharing your first kiss? Your investment has gone down the drain. Having an unplugged ceremony allows for your photographer to have the freedom and room to capture your day free of unnecessary environmental factors.
I’m not speaking of guests that snap a shot from their seat during the ceremony. I’m strictly speaking of guests who step into the aisles and block the view of the hired wedding photographer. Trust me when I say, while Photoshop does WONDERS, you do NOT want to get your wedding images back and see tons of camera phones, iPad’s & other cameras in every frame. The excitement in the air at a Wedding Ceremony is literally palpable. Everyone is on pins and needles to see all the perfect moments of the wedding unfold, including your photographer. Sometimes, it’s more difficult than usual to get those moments when guests attempt to do our job for us. I’ve had guests hop into the aisle at the exact moment of the first kiss or another important moment to grab a shot. These guests are affectionately known in the internet world as “Uncle Bob’s”. I like to think they mean no real harm, honestly they don’t! Now, they may very well be actual photographers, but if they were not the commissioned Wedding Photographer for that particular Wedding Day, they fall into these categories as well. I myself have had to resist the urge to grab a quick shot of the Bride & Groom while attending a wedding, but ultimately, I have to let my respect for my fellow photographer & the couple override my wants at that moment.
We live in an era where documenting your life is common practice. “It didn’t happen, if you don’t have a picture” right? We have forgotten how to simply revel in the moment at hand, taking EVERYTHING in…the sniffles of all the females in the room during the vow exchange, the fragrance of the floral decor chosen by the couple, the flicker of the candle flames and even the yawns of the children waiting for the ceremony to be over. These are the things that help create depth to a moment and we honestly miss all of it trying to get the best shot with our iPhones. Wedding Ceremonies don’t last very long. How nice would it be to tell your guests to relax, be completely present and leave the photography and videography to the professionals you’ve hired? You’ve paid for them to experience the public display/declaration of your love, help them fully enjoy it!
I have yet to meet a Bride that wanted her guests to see her in her dress before the ceremony. NOT A ONE. I can tell you I have had a wedding where an early guest come in when the bridal party was having their portraits taken before the ceremony, snapped a shot, tagged the bride & posted it on social media. The thrill of seeing guests reactions to you enter the ceremony is gone because they have just seen a glimpse of your formal pictures on Facebook 1-2 hours before your ceremony even began. Having guest put away their phones and cameras help reduce the likelihood that someone will get a glimpse of your wedding ceremony before it actually happens.
So how do you let your guests know you want them to put their phones away and fully enjoy the experience? The key is consistency & repetition!
1. Add an insert in your invitations- This is the first place you can inform your guests of your wishes. You can add a small card about the size of your registry or RSVP cards advising them that your ceremony will be unplugged and explain what that means for them.
2. Get a sign- Because the popularity of these types of ceremonies is growing & growing, there is no shortage of companies who have signs that relay the message to your guests perfectly!
3. Add it to your programs – While guests are waiting for the ceremony to start, its about 99.99% likely that they will read your wedding program. If you choose to have a program, definitely include a blurb to remind them of your wishes.
4. As your DJ or Minister to remind your guests – Who’s gonna say no to a Minister? Especially if he says it is “At the request of the Bride & Groom”. I’ve literally high-fived a DJ for making an announcement about not obstructing the view of the wedding photographer at a wedding.
5. Put it on your Wedding Website – You are listing all the wedding information here already! Why not ad a quick line about your unplugged ceremony and why it’s important to you both?
Have any ideas to share about having an unplugged wedding that guests welcome? Share in the comments below!
@2023-2025 ASHLEY NICOLE PHOTOGRAPHY, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
ATLANTA WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
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